Don't Burn Yourself Out

Updated: Sep 15, 2018

By Dave Miller


We all have limitations.


Balancing our limitations with the burning drive to see a multiplying church among people from every tribe, tongue and nation creates tension. This tension screams out in all of your relationships when you struggle with the balance of drive and personal limitation. You see what needs to be done. You know you can’t do it all. You fall into the trap of rationalizing anger towards everyone you assume fails to do their part.


Nothing keeps me awake at night more than knowing #NoPlaceLeft is not yet a reality. I constantly try to figure out ways to do more, to be more efficient, and to rearrange our life to be ready at anytime to obey the Great Commission. I spend time in prayer asking the Father in Jesus name to give wisdom in stewarding relationships, casting off personal hinderances to multiplication, and helping find contentment when my limitations produce frustration. In this process, the steadiness of Jesus in the face of so many limitations astounds me.


The limitations of Jesus astound me precisely because they were limitation by choice.

“Turn these stones to bread.” Jesus was 40 days hungry. The request was well within his ability. He chose to follow the will of the Father.


“Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon.” The Son of God became a man knowing full well that he would be worn out from journeys.


“Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came.” Jesus could only be at one place at one time. He had to leave one group of people in order to reach another.


Jesus chose limitations. Could it be that our personal limitations are actually kingdom advantages? Could it be that our mutual need for partnership fosters the kingdom necessity for multiplication? Did Jesus model for us limitations empowered by the Holy Spirit so we might follow his lead?


You must find grace and joy in your limitations, or your limitations will create bitterness and embellishment in you. Bitterness because you will see limitations as a hinderance. Embellishment because your limitations create a sense of inferiority and you feel the need to hide behind a better version of your story. If Jesus willingly chose limitations, should we not consider them an act of grace in our life?


Here are some perspectives why your limitations are the grace of God.

  • When you can’t, you must trust that God will.

  • When you have reached capacity, you must release responsibility to another.

  • You can’t take the praise and therefore give the praise.

  • You ask for help and gain a partner.

  • I becomes we.

  • The Church becomes a necessity.

  • You rest because you were never intended to do it all.

  • Your rest gives you time to breath in Jesus.

  • Your reminded you need the Holy Spirit.

  • You must ask and pray.

  • Breathing in Jesus produces joy and the overflow you need for your kingdom work.

  • You stay in the work, don’t burn out, and the kingdom keeps a faithful laborer on the team.

Are you wearing out? These thoughts are simply birthed out of my own recovery from the edge of the burn out cliff. Jesus has returned my joy, but an act of surrender was required in my heart. Pride required repentance. The Father’s heart and His millennia long work to fill the earth with worshippers required my trust. Rest required my attention. The work required my overflow.


I pray these thoughts help you, should you find yourself burning out or slow you if you are headed there:

  • Accept that you have limitations.

  • Know your capacity.

  • Know your gifts and primarily operate within them.

  • Don’t compare your ability with another.

  • Don’t compare your fruit with another.

  • Give thanks and encourage others in their abilities and fruit.

  • Rest with Jesus for the the joy set before you.

  • Give all of your overflow in Jesus to the work. Keep none for yourself.

  • Remind yourself that God loves this lost world more than you ever will and it is his desire that none should perish and that all will come to repentance.

Don’t burn yourself out. We need more laborers, especially the ones we already have.


Until there's #NoPlaceLeft

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